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Former ballet school director taking reins at BDIA



The former executive director for the Quinte Ballet School is taking her show on the road and moving downtown.

Dwane Barrett, president of the BDIA board of directors, announced Monday at City Council that Marilyn Lawrie is the new executive director of the BDIA.

Lawrie spent four years as executive director of the Quinte Ballet School before not renewing her contract last year. Under her leadership, the school went from needing the city to loan it money to meet its credit obligations to owning its building.

Lawrie, who officially started her new job Monday, told council one of her key priorities is to communicate more effectively among the membership of the BDIA.

After the meeting she said while the BDIA has undergone a lot of challenges in recent years it was not a “sinking ship.”

“I know I can help make a difference,” she said. “If you go to my Facebook page, you will see the slogan I came up with was ‘I make sense out of chaos, it’s what I do.’

“Whether it’s an opera that has to be put together in two and a half weeks, whether it’s a special project, whether it’s running the BDIA or a ballet school, I take information and I knit it together and I make things happen.”

Lawrie brings a diverse background to what has been reduced to a half time position at the BDIA, including jobs with Quinte Arts Council, Quinte Symphony, Stirling Festival Theater and the Quinte Ballet School of Canada.

She noted that her background, while in the arts, translates well over to the business community.

“They call it show business, not show art,” she said. “The arts are based in business. They aren’t going to be successful if you don’t meet the bottom line.

“I still have to get my head around the BDIA budget, which was cut by $30,000 at the AGM. The game plan comes back to budget, figuring out what is happening there, and communication, especially with the membership but also members of the public but also the media.”

As for the challenge of doing all that on a part time basis, Lawrie said the key will be working smarter.

“The answer is not trying to do the same amount of work in half the time,” she said. “It’s thinking smart, it’s identifying the core things that need to be done. Because I can’t do a full time job in half time. But I do work fast.”

In a press release, Barrett said the BDIA board is “very excited to have Lawrie coming on board.

“Her profile in the community and her history of successful leadership… will help establish greater stability and positive momentum for the BDIA.”

Read More: News, Quinte

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